Will WoW fans stop playing long enough to read a Warcraft magazine?

The popular online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, will soon be the subject of a quarterly magazine.

The hottest online role playing game is about to make its appearance in print.

This weekend, gamers attending BlizzCon, a gaming convention – and the largest gathering of WoW fans – in Anaheim, Calif., will receive news of the upcoming publication, World of Warcraft: The Magazine.

The quarterly magazine, scheduled to launch this fall around WoW's fifth anniversary, will be spearheaded by Future, a games media publisher.  Each issue will be 148 pages long, and entirely without ads, which means the magazine will rely solely on subscribers for revenue, according to a press release. The annual subscription fee for US readers will be $40. Those who subscribe at BlizzCon this weekend will receive a green, plush murloc critter. If you can't attend the convention, you can sign up for a subscription on the magazine's site.

The first issue of World of Warcraft: The Magazine will focus on WoW's evolution over the past five years and include an article on the history of the doomhammer weapon, for example. Other issues will feature artwork, news on upcoming game developments, and provide insight on the game's history.  It will also be published in English, French, German, and Spanish.

The online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, was created in 2004. Over the past five years, the video game franchise has expanded to some 11.5 million players. Soon, the franchise will appear on the silver screen in a live-action film adaption to be directed by Sam Rami.

Though the magazine publishing industry is struggling, John Gower, international director of FuturePlus, the publisher of the magazine, says "there is an increasing recognition that there is a huge demand among gamers for print products to support their online experience and vice versa. Future's experienced team will create an essential magazine for World of Warcraft enthusiasts around the world."

Some WoW players are intrigued by the new publication. Ron Meiners, a WoW fan, told CNET News he is interested in seeing the magazine's "fantastic" art.

But other WoW players, who already shell out a $15 monthly subscription fee for the game service, aren't interested in purchasing the print product. "It's not for me," Katrina Glerum, a former game company executive and longtime WoW fan, told CNET News. "I don't feel like I'm starved for external information ... I can't get out of the game as it is because I'm playing. I get in trouble with my guild mates for not [reading enough information about the game.]"

But then again, with BlizzCon tickets costing $125, maybe some WoW fans will be willing to pay the $40 subscription fee.

Are you a big WoW fan? Will you purchase the magazine?  Talk it up here, or find us on Twitter, @CSMHorizonsblog.

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